Senior couple suffering from hearing loss standing in front of a pink backdrop trying to remember something.

Are you forgetting something? It isn’t your imagination. It really is getting more difficult to remember things in everyday life. Once you notice it, memory loss seems to advance quickly. The more you are aware of it, the more incapacitating it becomes. The majority of people aren’t aware that there’s a connection between memory loss and hearing loss.

If you believe that this is just a natural part of getting older, you would be wrong. Losing the ability to process memories always has an underlying reason.

For many individuals that cause is neglected hearing loss. Is your hearing affecting your ability to remember? You can slow down the onset of memory loss considerably and maybe even get some back if you are aware of what’s causing it.

Here are a few facts to think about.

How neglected hearing loss can contribute to memory loss

They’re not unrelated. Cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in people who have hearing loss.
There are complex interrelated reasons for this.

Mental fatigue

Initially, the brain will have to work overtime to compensate for hearing loss. You have to struggle to listen to something. Now, your brain needs to work hard where before it just occurred naturally.

It becomes necessary to utilize deductive reasoning. When trying to listen, you eliminate the unlikely possibilities to determine what someone probably said.

This puts a lot of extra stress on the brain. It’s particularly stressful when your deductive reasoning skills lead you astray. The consequence of this can be misconceptions, embarrassment, and sometimes even bitterness.

Stress has a major impact on how we process memory. When we’re stressed out, we’re spending brain resources that we should be using for memory.

As the hearing loss advances, something new takes place.

Feeling older

You can begin to “feel older” than you actually are when you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves and struggling to hear. If you’re always thinking that you’re getting old, it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Social solitude

We’ve all heard the trope of someone who’s so lonely that they start to lose touch with reality. We humans are social creatures. Even introverts struggle when they’re never with others.

Untreated hearing loss slowly isolates a person. Talking on the phone becomes a chore. You need people to repeat what they said at social functions making them a lot less enjoyable. Friends and family start to exclude you from conversations. You might be off in space feeling isolated even when you’re in a room full of people. The radio may not even be there to keep you company over time.

Being on your own just seems simpler. You feel like you can’t relate to your friends now because you feel older than them even though you’re not.

This regular lack of mental stimulation makes it more difficult for the brain to process new information.

Brain atrophy

A chain reaction commences in the brain when a person starts to physically or mentally seclude themselves. There’s no more stimulation going to parts of the brain. When this takes place, those parts of the brain atrophy and quit functioning.

There’s a high level of interconnectivity between the various regions of the brain. Abilities like problem solving, learning, speech, and memory are all related to hearing.

There will usually be a gradual spread of this functional atrophy to other brain functions, like hearing, which is also connected to memory.

It’s just like the legs of a bedridden person. Muscles become weak when they’re sick in bed over a long time period of time. They may possibly just stop working completely. Learning to walk again may require physical therapy.

But when it comes to the brain, this damage is a great deal more difficult to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Doctors can see this on brain scans.

How memory loss can be prevented by hearing aids

If you’re reading this, then you’re still in the beginning stages of memory loss. It might be hardly noticeable. The good news is that it isn’t the hearing loss that contributes to memory loss.

It’s untreated hearing loss.

In these studies, people who were wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis were no more likely to have memory loss than somebody around the same age who has healthy hearing. The advancement of memory loss was delayed in people who started wearing their hearing aids after experiencing symptoms.

As you get older, try to stay connected and active. Keep your memories, memory loss is linked to hearing loss. Be mindful of the health of your hearing. Get your hearing checked. And consult us about a solution if you’re not using your hearing aid for some reason.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.